Workshops and Presentation • Mendoza, Argentina • 24-27 March, 2013

The CILCA Conference in Mendoza (Argentina) was the biggest life cycle conference ever held in Latin America, with 250 participants including 60 from Brazil, 15 from Mexico and Chile each and 100 from Argentina which were the most represented countries. It was organized by the Argentinean Life Cycle Network. This confirms a growing interest in the topic and an acknowledgement of the series of CILCA conferences held since 2005 every 2 years. The next version will take place in 2015 in Lima, Peru, co-organized by the Peruvian Life Cycle Association and the Ministry of Environment of Peru with the support of the Ibero American Life Cycle Network.

The UNEP/SETAC Global Guidance Principles for LCA Databases (The GGP) were presented in a 2-hour session by the co-authors and reviewers of this publication (listed alphabetically): Armando Caldeiras (University of Brasilia), Cassia Ugaya (Brazilian Life Cycle Association), Cecilia Makishi (PE International), Claudia Penia (Chilean Life Cycle Association), Greg Norris (New Earth), Greg Thoma (The Sustainability Consortium), Martina Prox (IfU Hamburg, Umberto), Nydia Suppen (CADIS and ISO convener of the WG8 on Water Footprint) and Sonia Valdivia (UNEP).

The session was well attended and remarks and questions referred as to (1) how to improve the interoperability of databases, and (2) what the next steps would be for industrial sectors and Governments to join the UNEP/SETAC database network and to receive training in the regions. Industrial representatives (e.g. the Brazilian industrial cluster) were especially interested in capacity building possibilities with UNEP/SETAC’s support. Concerning the first question, the speakers explained that the GGP provides general guidance and that a thorough discussion with the life cycle community and experts would be needed before working on a more detailed elaboration on the interoperability’ aspects as this does not only apply to LCA databases issues but to the impact assessment models area. Regarding the second question, interested participants were invited to express interest and present their developments which will be considered in the current mapping of LCA databases initiatives which the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative is consolidating.

Three training workshops were offered to the participants on ‘Water Footprinting’, ‘Life Cycle Impact Assessment’ and on LCA, which were led by Barbara Civit and Claudia Penia (WF), Nydia Suppen and Isabel Quispe (LCA) and Cecille Bulle (LCIA).

The conference offered innovative sustainable services to the participants which provided enriching experiences to participants (e.g. electric bikes were offered to commute from/to hotels to the venue at the university and a get-together evening with a mountain bike tour under the moon light in the nice surroundings of Mendoza vineyards) and created a very good environment for thoughtful discussions on life cycle related topics and on how to take them home and implement them in our daily work and lives.

The elements below will be added as they are made available to us.

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Were you in attendance at the Life Cycle Initiative’s events in Mendoza? Leave a comment below and tell us what you thought.